Shari Bilden has an extensive, diverse background as a para-educator, basketball coach, and teacher before becoming principal of Northwood ten years ago, where one of her first challenges was to address No Child Left Behind reform and related AYP measurements. As a result of her efforts, Northwood has made AYP for the majority of her tenure and she has helped improve classroom instruction by implementing the Marzano teaching model of instructional design, with Northwood designated a Marzano High Reliability School. Bilden’s leadership truly shined when Northwood was lost in a devastating tornado one day before opening in August 2007. Under her tenacious influence, students missed only four days of instruction in the wake of the tragedy and continued to receive an excellent education in temporary facilities. She was instrumental in building a new, state of the art environment for Northwood. Superintendent Keith Arneson says that “no natural disaster can alter Mrs. Bilden’s unwavering commitment to her calling as educator and educational leader.” Bilden collaborates with Valley City State University and the North Dakota State Department of Career and Technical Education to provide teachers with training to integrate STEM activities into the Northwood curriculum, serves as the regional director for NDAESP, and hold a B.S. in Education from Mayville State University and a Master’s from the University of North Dakota.